In the realm of printing technology, Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) has emerged as a game-changer. At the heart of this remarkable printing method lies CIJ ink, a highly specialised liquid that enables the creation of vivid and durable prints.
In this blog piece, we will explore the fascinating world of CIJ ink, its composition, working principle, and the numerous benefits it offers to various industries.
The Basics of CIJ Ink:
CIJ ink, also known as Continuous Inkjet ink, is a liquid formulation designed for use in CIJ printers. CIJ technology involves the continuous release of tiny ink droplets from a printhead nozzle to create characters, images, or codes on various substrates. The ink itself plays a crucial role in this process, ensuring optimal print quality, adhesion, and longevity.
Composition and Properties: CIJ ink is a carefully formulated blend, typically consisting of pigments or dyes, solvents, additives, and various resins. These components are chosen to achieve desirable characteristics such as colour vibrancy, quick drying, resistance to environmental factors, and compatibility with different substrates.
One of the key properties of CIJ ink is its low viscosity, allowing it to flow smoothly through the printhead and be effortlessly dispersed into droplets. Additionally, the ink must be able to form well-defined dots upon contact with the printing surface, ensuring clarity and accuracy in the printed output.
To understand the role of CIJ ink, let's briefly explore how CIJ technology operates. In a CIJ printer, a high-pressure pump propels ink from a reservoir to the printhead. As the ink exits the nozzle, it is subjected to an electrostatic charge. Simultaneously, a piezoelectric crystal in the nozzle vibrates, causing the ink stream to break into individual droplets. Only a small fraction of these droplets are directed towards the printing surface, while the rest are recirculated back into the system.
The ink droplets pass through an electrode plate that selectively charges them based on the desired printing pattern. By controlling the electrostatic charge and the path of the charged droplets, the printer can form characters, images, or codes with remarkable precision. CIJ ink, with its unique properties, ensures that the ink droplets maintain their integrity throughout the printing process, resulting in high-quality prints.
Advantages of CIJ Ink:
Versatility: CIJ ink is suitable for printing on a wide range of substrates, including paper, plastics, metals, glass, and textiles. This versatility makes it invaluable in industries such as packaging, labelling, coding, and marking.
Speed and Efficiency: CIJ printers can generate prints at high speeds, allowing for increased productivity in industrial settings. The fast-drying properties of CIJ ink contribute to quick turnaround times and reduced smudging.
Durability: CIJ ink is designed to withstand various environmental conditions, ensuring that prints remain legible and fade-resistant even in challenging environments. This durability is particularly crucial for applications that require long-term traceability or exposure to harsh conditions.
Colour Options: CIJ ink offers an extensive colour palette, enabling vibrant and eye-catching prints. This versatility is especially advantageous for businesses looking to enhance their brand identity or create visually appealing packaging.
CIJ ink has revolutionised the printing industry by enabling fast, accurate, and durable printing across diverse applications. Its unique formulation and properties make it an ideal choice for businesses seeking high-quality prints on a variety of substrates. As technology continues to evolve, CIJ ink will undoubtedly play an integral role in shaping the future of printing, empowering industries with its versatility and performance.
At Needham Ink Technologies, we specialise in the manufacture of British CIJ ink combining our 60 years of heritage and experience to form lifelong partnerships with our customers. We are able to supply cost-effective OEM alternative inks for most CIJ printers on the market. If you are looking for ink for a specific use, please feel free to get in touch and see if we are able to formulate an ink designed for you.